Amazon pioneers drones for deliveries

Online retailer Amazon is testing unmanned drones to deliver products to consumers in record times. Instead of being the preserve of the US military and law enforcement, drones could be making the Christmas delivery rounds within five years according to the company.

Amazon chief executive, Jeff Bezos told CBS television's 60 Minutes "We can do half-hour delivery... and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds (2.3kg), which covers 86 per cent of the items that we deliver."

The drones, called Octocopters will be part of a service named Prime Air. The company claims that "One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today."The drones are powered by electric motors and can cover as much as a 10 mile radius.

Amazon will need to obtain the approval of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before it can use the drones for its new delivery service. Bezos said that the FAA could give its seal of approval by 2015, giving enough time for the Prime Air service to be up and running.

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